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November 20, 2011CHAPEL HILL--- Top-ranked UNC took control late in the first half and cruised to a 101-75 victory Sunday afternoon in the team's home opener in the Smith Center against Mississippi Valley State.
Read what head coach Roy Williams and several Tar Heel player had to say after the game below.
UNC Head Coach Roy Williams
"I liked how we were active later. I didn't think we were very active early in the game and then we made a couple substitutions and I thought we were much more active all of a sudden. In the second half I thought we were more active. They shot a lot of threes at the end, that's the way they were trying to come back."
"We've got to do a better job of getting to the shooter. So many times we let them take the open threes. I don't mind teams that shoot a lot of threes, but I don't like it when you make them because they're open. We've got to do a better job of that."
"We had six guys in double figures. We had John and Z both having double-doubles and only playing 23 minutes apiece."
"We do realize we have four games in seven days. For Kendall to play 25 minutes and be the most minutes on the team, we like that part of it. Hopefully we'll be fresh and have a great practice tomorrow, too."
On the range of John Henson's game. Speak to the improvement he made from last season.
"One of his keys for his off-season work is do a better job of shooting the basketball. I still like our big guys to shoot between 55 and 60 percent. We need to do that because they're going to get some dunks."
"As I said we need to shoot the basketball better, but John has made some jump shots. He made two or three face to jumpshots today. It's part of what he does. I have zero problems, its one of our keys for him to work on in the off-season. I think it's good."
As unhappy as you were with the shooting, were you encouraged by the end with Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston making the threes?
"If you keep shooting you're going to make some. They can really shoot the basketball. Harrison can really shoot it if he's got one wide open at the top of the key. Reggie's got two wide open on set. P.J.'s got two."
"They kept missing them, but they made some at the end. They're eventually going to start making some, but we'd like for them to shoot a little better percentage than 5 for 19. They can really shoot the basketball and they make a lot of them when they start making them, but we'd like for them to do it on game night."
Tyler Zeller on team shooting.....
"We're a very good shooting team. We've got to be able to step up and hit shots. Some people who were shooting wide open shots were maybe a little nervous and didn't know what to do, but it's something you've got to do, just step up and knock them down."
Dexter Strickland, on missed free throws.....
"We could have made more free throws. I think we did a great job attacking them and having the opportunity to go to the free throw line. My team did a great job of playing good defense and getting steals and fast breaks."
Strickland on team shooting.....
"We're great shooters. Great shooters are going to have games like that. When they're on they're on."
Harrison Barnes, on putting on 15 pounds of muscle this summer.....
"Posting up is a lot easier, just creating a little bit of separation. I think my freshman year a lot of times I would get knocked off balance and that would cause me to take awkward shots."
P.J. Hairston, on how the college game is different from high school.....
"It's a lot faster. That's the main thing is speed. It wasn't really strength-wise. I've always been the strongest person on my team, so it was coming here knowing everyone was just as strong. The pace of the game is just a whole lot different than high school."
On the team not making shots at times.....
"It wasn't as if they were bad shots, they just weren't falling. Shots we usually make weren't falling and we had to find another way to win, and that's what we did."
Mississippi Valley State Head Coach Sean Woods
On what his team took from this game.....
"Toughness. Knowing that we can play with anybody. Our stuff does work when we do it right, against anybody in the country. We have to stop making silly plays that gives the other team a run."
"If we just stay solid and don't take bad shots at times, then we can sustain and stay in the ball game. We just can't give a team like this 8-0 runs and 6-0 runs. They're too good."
On North Carolina's team.....
"They looked much better today than I saw the last two games. Those two guys, those two big guys were more assertive today than they've been in the past. We made them play, we challenged them and they stepped up to the plate and showed why they are who they are."